Retro Edition

What’s your call?

4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards

August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Steve Weinstein, Bridge Buff
Game before slam

4♠ by Cohen. “My motto has always been ‘game before slam.’ 4♠ is where we belong opposite, say:

♠ A K J 10 x   x x  Q J x   ♣J x x.” The Joyces concur. “4˜♠ should show honor doubleton since we didn’t bid 3˜. Now partner can decide where to place the contract.”

“I realize I haven’t done this hand justice,” Rigal says, bidding 4♠, “but I have shown my hand type, give or take a subsidiary heart honor. I can’t bid 4♣ over 3♠, and going past 4♠ seems excessive.”

Falk figures 4♠ is foolproof. “Even if partner thinks I’m cuebidding a spade control, there’s not much worry — after all, I’m looking at the A K and the A K, so he can hardly go crazy. Mean-while, 4˜ may be our best spot, so if he wants to pass, that will almost surely be right.”

Stack reads partner’s 3♠ call as indicating a good five-card suit. “So we can raise with the excellent two-card support. If partner is cuebidding for diamonds and follows up with 5♣, then we have the values to bid a slam in diamonds.”

Lawrence bids 4♠. “We might miss a slam, but there is no certainty we are safe at the five level. This is not a good hand for standard bidding because, to this point, neither of us has limited our values. 4 shows the value of the hand, but partner will think I am interested only in diamonds. He won’t know I have ˜Q x.”

4♠ by Walker. “You can’t safely bid 4, as partner will take that as natural in an auction where you haven’t agreed on a major or notrump. That’s how I’d bid with six diamonds and five hearts.”

Nevertheless, six experts bid 4. Hampson is one. “I suspect a club problem in 3NT, so I will try to allow part-ner to bid and make 4♠ while leaving room for slam if he has club control.”

Sanborn, too. “My 3 could have been a notrump probe. I need to cuebid again to show the slammish nature of my hand. I will pass if partner tries 4♠. Other slam moves will have to be made by partner with a club control.”

Colchamiro control bids 4. “At IMPs, with 6–5 in diamonds and hearts, I would prefer the safety of the nine- or 10-card diamond fit and not try for a 5–3 heart fit, and partner should know that. Therefore, 4 is a control bid for diamonds or even spades. Either way I’m OK and 4 focuses partner on the problem of two fast club losers.”

Weinstein cues 4 — “the slam try most likely to result in partner bidding Blackwood,” then pauses to consider what 4 might sound like from the other side of the table. “I hope partner doesn’t pass.”

Robinson bids 4 to learn if the partnership has a club control. “I don’t think we do. If partner bids 5, I’ll pass. Over 5♣, I’ll bid 6. I hope part-ner doesn’t think I have six diamonds and five hearts.”

That’s exactly what worries the Gordons. “We were about to bid 4, but it sounds too natural and we fear an accident.” They bid 4, ready to pass 4♠ or 5.

Meckstroth treads water with 4. “I want to get to slam, but without a control in clubs, I need pard to take over.”

Kennedy moves forward with 4. “If partner’s 3♠ bid shows extra values, I am willing to explore for slam in diamonds. The bidding does not sound as though we should be in 3NT.”

The Coopers bid 4. “Partner wouldn’t necessarily splinter with club shortness at his second turn. We have enough HCP to play 5, and 4 is the most flexible bid. It shows real diamonds without enough in clubs to bid RKCB. If partner bids 4, we’ll bid 4♠ to show our secondary support. If he bids 4♠, we’ll pass. If he bids 5♣, we’ll bid 6.”

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